Free Zones Board raises corporate tax

•    Dr. Spio-Garbrah — Minister of Trade and Industry

• Dr. Spio-Garbrah — Minister of Trade and Industry

The Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB), has increased the corporate tax for free zone companies in the country from eight to 15 per cent.

This is after the 10 year grace period which exempts free zone companies from paying tax.

The Head of Investor Support Services of the board, Hajia Hanatu Abubakar, who disclosed this to the media on the sidelines of a South Africa Trade and Investment Seminar in Accra, said the move formed part of the government’s home grown policies to broaden and deepen the tax net of the country.

The seminar was held on the theme, “Incentives available to investors looking to invest”.

Hajia Abubakar said the favourable working environment which prevailed in the country within the West Africa sub-region, was an advantage for the success of their investments to strive, encouraging foreign and local investors to expand and concentrate their businesses in the country.

She said Ghana, “as a beacon of democracy on the African continent”, keeps ethical standards in investment relations, and was strategically located within the West Africa sub-region with access to over 350 million people, another reason investors could put their monies in the country.”

In order to push successfully on many fronts to boost the nation’s fledging economy and create more jobs, Hajia Abubakar said the board had positioned itself to enhance the provision of the needed infrastructure and efficient services for investors in the free zone enclaves.

She said the government was on track to transform the economy into a net exporter of goods rather than a net importer.

According to her, the board was seeking for strategic partners to develop the Shama Export Processing Zone, the Sekondi Export Processing Zone and the Ashanti Technology Park to woo more investors to those parts of the country, while creating jobs for the youth in those areas.

Hajia Abubakar said as an incentive to encourage more investors into the country, apart from the 10 years tax exemption, companies registered within free zones enjoyed services such as “No restriction on issuance of work and residence permits to free zone investors and employees and duty free access of manufactured exports to USA and European Union markets”.

She said other incentives included excellent sea and air connections with Europe and USA, a comparatively well-developed and improving infrastructure consisting of good road networks, water supplies, electricity, internal and external communications, as well as sea and airport facilities.

By Julius Yao Petetsi    

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